Funding Circle business loans: 2023 review
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At a glance
|Overview||Funding Circle offers business term loans, lines of credit and SBA 7(a) loans. It’s streamlined application process and potentially low interest rates make it a good fit for established businesses with a solid credit history.|
|Loan amount:||$5,000 to $500,000+|
|APR:||As low as 10.5%|
|Term lengths:||6 months to 10 years|
|Minimum credit score:||660|
Who Funding Circle is best for
Who Funding Circle may not be best for
Funding Circle’s eligibility requirements put its loans out of reach for startups and business owners with bad credit. It’s also not a good fit for business owners who want funding within 24 hours.
Funding Circle pros and cons
Lower rates than many online lenders
Relatively quick funding times
Relatively quick funding times
No unsecured loans
APRs not disclosed online
Business loan types offeredFunding Circle offers three types of business loans geared for successful and established businesses. If you’re looking for more accessible options open to borrowers with poor credit, like invoice factoring or merchant cash advances, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Business term loan
The business term loan is designed for companies with a credit score of 660 or higher. This is higher than many online lenders who may offer loans to small business owners with a minimum credit score of 600 or lower.
Funding circle doesn’t disclose its rates on its website, but in an email, the lender stated its APR ranged from 12.45 percent to 45 percent. The low end of that range is fairly competitive and may rival even the low rates found with banks and traditional lenders.
There are no prepayment penalties, and borrowers won’t have to deal with excessive fees like application, maintenance or administration fees. But there is an origination fee, which is higher than the 0.50 percent or 2.50 percent origination fees charged by some other lenders.
You’ll also have to provide collateral, as Funding Circle currently doesn’t offer unsecured loans.
Business line of credit
Funding Circle offers revolving business lines of credit, which let you repeatedly draw funds as you need it and only pay interest on the amount you borrow. You make monthly or weekly payments over 12 or 18 months.
Funding Circle doesn't state its line of credit interest rates on its website. This will make it harder for you to quickly compare with other lenders. There is a 1.6 percent fee per draw, which could end up being more expensive than lines of credit that charge an annual fee but no draw fees. You’ll also pay a 5 percent penalty for late payments.
Responsibly managing the account by making timely payments could make you eligible for credit line increases over time.
SBA 7(a) loan
Backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), these loans can cover unexpected expenses, stabilize cash flow, refinance business debt, upgrade your company’s space or expand operations.
SBA loans typically have extensive documentation requirements along with slower approval and funding times. But Funding Circle coordinates with a network of SBA lenders to help streamline the process.
The eligibility guidelines vary from those for term loans and lines of credit. Your company must be operable for two years, free of federal tax liens and generating $400,000 or more in annual revenue. You’ll also need a FICO score of 630 or higher to qualify for an SBA 7(a) loan.
Do you qualify?
Funding Circle states its average borrower has good or excellent credit, has been in business for 11 years with $1.4 million in annual sales and has 12 employees. And considering it’s minimum credit score is 660, it’s not a good fit for someone looking for bad credit business loans.
That said, you may still be eligible for a loan even if you don’t have this sort of business profile. Here are the general guidelines to be aware of:
- FICO score of 660 (or 630 for SBA loans)
- No personal bankruptcies within seven years
- Operate in an industry not related to gambling, speculative real estate, pornography, weapons manufacturing or speculative real estate
- Not operate a marijuana dispensary or non-profit organization
What we like and what we don’t like
Funding Circle features business loans with competitive rates and generous terms to established companies.
What we like
- Lower rates than many online lenders. Funding circle offers competitive rates. It’s maximum rate for term loans doesn’t soar as high as the rates you could find with other lenders.
- Streamlined application. Funding Circle has one quick online application to see which loans you qualify for. It conducts a soft credit pull when you apply, so your credit score won’t be impacted.
- Relatively quick funding times. Some business loans are funded in just two days, much quicker than loans from banks.
- Minimal fees. Funding Circle doesn’t charge many of the additional fees found with other loans.
What we don't like
- Strict eligibility requirements. Funding Circle has a minimum required credit score of 660, and its average borrower has typically been in business for 11 years and has annual sales of $1.4 million.
- No unsecured loans. Borrowers will need to tie assets to the loan, which will act as security. You’ll have to look elsewhere for unsecured loan options.
- APRs not disclosed online. Funding Circle does not list APRs on its website, so borrowers aren’t able to quickly compare rates with other lenders.
How to apply for a loan with Funding Circle
Funding Circle makes it easy to view loan offers and receive financing. First, you’ll visit the website and submit an online application. It’s fast and doesn’t impact your credit score.
If you meet the lenders loan eligibility requirements, an account manager will reach out to answer any questions you may have about the loan offer. You’ll also need to submit the required documentation to the account manager to proceed with the lending process.
The final step involves the underwriter reviewing your application and the lender issuing the final approval, closing the loan and disbursing the funds to your business bank account. Most borrowers hear back within 24 hours regarding a lending decision, but the approval time for SBA 7(a) loan could be up to three weeks.
Before applying, make sure to have the following material on hand:
- Business tax ID
- Name of owners or shareholders with a stake of 20 percent or more
- Six most recent months of bank statements
- Three years of business tax returns (SBA 7(a) loans only)
- Current profit and loss statements and balance sheet if current year tax returns are unfiled (SBA 7(a) loans only)
- Schedule of business debts (SBA 7(a) loans only)
Funding Circle FAQs
How Bankrate rates Funding Circle
Overall Score 4.6 Accessibility 4.7 Loans are open to some people with fair credit, and funding times could be relatively quick. Affordability 3.7 There’s a potential for high APRs and origination fees. Transparency 5.0 Funding Circle provides a wealth of details on its website, including fees it charges and a profile of its typical borrower. Customer experience 4.8 Funding Circle offers a streamlined application process and a healthy amount of support options for clients. Flexibility 4.6 This lender has multiple loan options and the chance to take out an additional loan after six consecutive on-time payments.
To select the top small business lenders, Bankrate considers more than 20 factors. These factors include loan amounts, approval and funding times, credit requirements, APR or factor rate ranges, fees, and easy-to-find rate and fee disclosures. Bankrate reviewed more than 20 lenders and gave each a rating, which consists of five categories:
- Accessibility: Factors considered in this category include minimum loan amounts, approval and funding speed, minimum annual revenue and minimum credit score.
- Affordability: This section measures interest or factor rates and fees.
- Transparency: How easy it is to find important rates, fees and eligibility requirements are considered in this category.
- Customer experience: Customer service hours, online applications and app availability are considered in this category.
- Flexibility: This category considers factors like the number of loan products and ability to change payment due date.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.On This Page